Carlos Cruz Diez: The Colours We Create


”I always say that I do not make paintings or sculptures, I make support for events.” Follow Carlos Cruz-Diez, leading figure in OpArt since the 1960’s, into a world of chromatic experience. ”Today people have learnt to see. People now see more than before.” Says Carlos Cruz-Diez, considered one of the key artists in the OpArt and Kinetic Art movements, which became major phenomena in art and visual culture in the 1950’s and 60’s. Cruz-Diez has been experimenting with vision and colour since that time, dedicating himself to an almost scientific exploration of chromatic experience in order create a method for showing colour in what he calls ‘its permanent mutation’. ”We have made colour a certainty over the centuries, but it isn’t. Colour is just a circumstance created instantaneously before our eyes.” “When I started to tackle colour in my first works, people asked me: Where’s the human presence? Where’s the poetry? Well, precisely. There. They are there with the man himself.” Working with colour for over 50 years, Cruz-Diez’ career as an artist began at a time when painting and sculpture were considered the main, even the only acceptable media for artists to work within. As a young student Cruz-Diez would wonder: “Why was everyone applying paint with a brush on canvas? Were there no other ways of painting?” His search for an extended artwork, a deplacement of the experience of art away from the object, continues to this day. For Cruz-Diez, the work of art is not placed on the wall or floor of a gallery, but within the spectator’s experience: ”The work of art needs the viewer’s participation in order to become real. It’s not about passive contemplation but an active participation.” Carlos Cruz-Diez (b. 1923 - d. 2019) is a Franco-Venezuelan artist who has been active within the field of Kinetic and Optical art since the 1960’s. His body of work has established him as one of the key twentieth-century thinkers in the realm of colour. His work has been shown internationally at the MoMA, New York, USA, Tate Modern, London, UK, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA. He lives and works in Paris. For more about Carlos Cruz-Diez please visit: Carlos Cruz-Diez was interviewed in his studio in Panama in April 2016.

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